Fresher Feast: 5 recipes that’ll have your flatmates thinking you’re Gordon Ramsay

Words by Alex Williams

I was an awful cook when I started university, a real idiot sandwich.

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Across the last few years I have managed to perfect some sneaky recipes any kitchen rookie can master, it’ll even give the illusion that you know exactly what you’re doing.

Sharing kitchens and dealing with housemates ever-expanding washing up piles can mean resorting to takeaways or bland meals as a crutch. I had a housemate that would eat plain chicken breast with some sort of carb 4 nights out of 7. The chicken wasn’t even seasoned.

These recipes are flavoursome and super low-effort, the kind of low-effort that will prevent you from getting to know the just eat driver for half-moon pizza on a first name basis (shout out to my longterm friend Darren).

Warning: comedy apron’s are compulsory.

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1. Stir Fry

Ingredients:

-Mixed Veg pack

-Noodles

-Sauce packet

-330g Meat (Optional)

Transporting you back to your Gap Yah in Thailand.

Heat a frying pan and dash a tablespoon of oil into it. Cut the meat into small, even chunks. Place in the pan and stir fry it until lightly browned (4-6 mins). Throw in the mixed veg with the meat for 2-3 minutes. Add the noodles to the pan and stir in the sauce until it’s covered all over. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes then serve that bad boy up.

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2. Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

– 200g Pasta (any shapes)

-Pasta Bake Sauce (Homepride is my favourite)

– Cheese (buy pre-grated if you want super low effort)

Melted cheese makes me drool.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 6. Get yourself a dish. Pour your pasta sauce into the dish. Fill the sauce jar up to the top of the label with cold water and stir it into the dish. Pour your pasta shapes into the dish and mix until it’s at the point where it is filled but none of the pasta shapes are above the surface of the sauce. Put it in the oven at 180 degress/gas mark 6 for 25 minutes. Take it out the oven and sprinkle it with as much grated cheese as you want (I opt for as much as possible). Put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and devour that melty cheesey, saucy beauty.

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3. Curry

Ingredients:

-Curry Sauce

– 330g Meat (optional)

-Rice (Uncle Ben’s, obvs)

This won’t be as good as your nearest takeaway, but it’ll be half the price.

Heat a pan to a medium heat and add a dash of oil. Cut the meat into even, small pieces. Cook the meat until it’s sealed 5-8 mins. Pour in the sauce and reduce the heat of the pan until it is gently bubbling. Let that baby do its thing for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Get the rice pouch and whack it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Serve it up, you spice.

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4. Fajitas

Ingredients:

-Tortilla kit

-Bag of salad

– 330g Meat or Frozen mixed veg (peppers, sweetcorn etc.)

– Cheese/Sour cream/Guacamole (go wild)

Me encanta comida Mexicana and you will too after you’ve cooked this amazing dish.

Heat a tbsp. of oil into a pan. Cut up the meat into small, even chunks. Cook the meat until lightly browned (4-8 mins). Throw in the mixed vegetables until thawed (2-4 mins). Sprinkle seasoning sachet from fajita kit over veg and meat. Stir it in until the spice mix coats everything. Leave to simmer whilst you microwave the tortillas (1 minute). Get your warm tortilla and fill it with a couple of tablespoons of the meat/veg. Add the salsa and whatever combo of salad, cheese or sauce you want. Roll it up, tilt your sombrero and munch your way to tastebud heaven.

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5. Casserole

Ingredients:

– Several Chicken Thighs

-Casserole Sachet

-Carrots

– New potatoes

– Chicken stock cubes

– Frozen Peas

This is the most intimidating dish of the 5 on the surface. I have faith in you.

So here it is, chicken casserole.

Put the kettle on. Rub the chicken thighs in the casserole seasoning. Put a tbsp. of oil into a large cooking pot. Brown the chicken thighs (4-8 min) stir in 750ml hot water from the kettle and the stock cubes. Throw in the carrots and potatoes, bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 mins.

Take off the lid and simmer for 15 mins more, then throw in the peas for another 5 mins.

Voilà!

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